Saturday, October 21, 2006

The people I meet on the streets

Last night I worked at Hollywood and Highland. You never know who might just drop by and catch the show. Last night I had the pleasure of meeting the real live Coach Carter. This is the guy who Samuel L. Jackson played in the movie "Coach Carter". He was a nice fellow, bought a Mental Photography and Stripper Deck. He and his wife watched a couple of my shows and he talked to me about private lessons. He does some speaking in the corporate market and is looking for ways to make is presentations more fun and visual. Of course magic is an excellent way to to that.

Overall the evening was OK. I was out there for about 3 cigars (3-4 hours). Sold some decks, did some shows. Worked with my new amp the Crate Taxi. Still figuring out how to get the best sound out of it for my needs (one vocal channel and one for the ipod). It seem to muscle over surrounding sounds pretty good. I do have to admit though, that by 10:30 on a friday night after listening to the plastic bucket drummer (for a half hour) who had set up next to me, I had had enough.

I'll work a few hours at the Promenade this afternoon then do a kid show in the Valley for a bunch of 6 year olds. Hey, whatever pays. . . I need the cash.

Friday, October 20, 2006

My Grampy Price • Max Price (my inspiration)

Max & Tommy


Today was the second day in a row that I thoroughly enjoyed a nude sunbathing an writing session in our back yard. It's strange to think that perhaps I am discovering part of my creative process. Good thing no one else was around. Polly has made a wonderful home for us complete with patio furniture, a lemon tree, and lots of love. She's been very busy creating a garden with lots of new plants. She's even got Buster helping her on the weekends.

Tonight I will work at the Promenade or Hollywood and Highland or Pasadena. I'm excited bout getting out there and doing my best work. Been filling my mind with lots of new ideas and starting to see the NEXT ACTION a little more clearly. In talking to Buster about what he wants out of life, it has certainly been a catalyst for me to ask the same question of myself. That's mostly what I wrote about today as I soaked in the rays during "buck naked hour". Ahhhh life is good. The world is my oyster. . . whatever the fuck that means.

When I was a kid

When I was a kid, we wore pants that fit, around our waists. We used good manners, were taught to be both respectful and helpful. When I was a kid my dad didn't ask twice. . . . for anything. If I didn't do it the first time he asked, he gently reminded me by slapping me in the back of my head or rapping his knuckles on my forehead. Kids were meant to be seen and not heard. Spare the rod an spoil the child. Meat and potatoes and my mom smoked cigarettes while she was pregnant. Those were the days.

When I was a kid, we hated the Russians because it was going to be their fault that we enter a war that ended in nuclear holocaust. When I was a kid, you had plenty of unprotected sex with lots of girls who were all on the pill. When I was a kid, my folks got divorced and we moved to a city where I didn't know anyone.

When I was a kid, I got lost within myself. I lived in a house with no rules, rhyme or reason. My poor mother never really got over the divorce or my father. I became self sufficient, financially and otherwise at an early age.

Oh man. . . how the world has changed. Buster has no idea how lucky he is that Polly can chill me out, keep me from yelling and putting my foot so far up his ass he would never walk right.

He acts like he has it tough as he glibly sits on his bed wearing headphones to his ipod while instant messaging friends in Cincinnati & Seattle on his wifi laptop.

My grandfather had it tough. His father died when he was young and was forced along with his brother to quit the 8th and 9th grades, they had to work 7 days a week to support their sick mother and three other brothers and sister. Every day they sold newspapers on the train from Cleveland to Chicago. Who would have thought that they would start a company that would become successful enough to allow them to buy and train many race horses. In fact, in 1961 one of their horses won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

My father had it tough, as he was routinely beaten up at school for no other reason than he was Jewish. They used to call him big jew and his brother, little jew. He told me stories about how they had to fight back to back and try and keep a bunch of the kids from kicking their ass. He worked his way through college hosting poker games and working at a shoe store.

I can't really say that I had it tough. Although their stories helped me understand how lucky I was to be able to follow my dreams and through sweat and hard work make them happen.

When I was a kid I knew what I wanted

What does Buster want. . . I wish he knew. . . or even thought about it. Or even cared.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Write what's in your head, write what's in you ass, who cares. . . . just write. OK so I'm writing. Here I am at my computer writing. Brain dump as they say. Beautiful day here in LA. One of the few weekday mornings that I got out of bed before Polly. I took Buster to school in her Prius. I don't mind that she has a car smarter than me.

Need to book some gigs. Booked my first gig here in LA. A friend of Polly and Kirsten's named Franklin booked me to do a show at his daughter's 6th birthday party. I am just happy to have a gig.

It sure would be nice to start getting some corporate or holiday work going. Halloween will be here shortly and that date is still open as well.

The wind blows, and my office curtains swell up like a muscle man's chest. Searching in my mind, like I'm looking for something. I think I will take a walk and get some exercise. Put on my ipod and listen to my favorite screenwriter's podcast.

Promo Ideas • Writing Exercise


Have you ever wondered how top, Fortune 500 companies motivate their sales forces? Do you wish you could connect with employees, customers and prospects in a meaningful way that they will enjoy and remember?. Have you been to one too many boring meetings that missed the mark in conveying the information presented?

It’s time to CUT THE CRAP and do something about it!

Combine an off beat humorous character, like comedy magician, TOM FRANK, with over two decades in Sales (with Magic Shops, Toy Stores, Corporate Events and Manufacturing) You get a one man, cost effective, power house punching, message delivering motherfucker, funny guy, magician to pull down your competitors pants and laugh at them. You’ll find yourself laughing at yourself, your industry all the while absorbing the important bullets on the agenda.

Tom Frank and Industrial Strength Magic specialize in combining your products, message and theme into a informational and entertaining presentation. It’s wacky! It’s weird and IT WORKS!! Spice up that next meeting, raise the bar at your next trade show. Dare to try something different.

Delivering a message nontraditionally increases it’s impact. It’s just that simple,

For over 20 years Tom has worked, entertained, motivated and inspired fine folks from IBM, to Proctor & Gamble, The House of Seagrams, The United States Playing Card Company, Microsoft Bla Bla Bla Bla Bla I couldn’t begin to list ALL the companies I’ve worked for.

Years of street performing, comedy clubs, private & corporate entertainment, as well as years in the Retail/Manufacturing and Marketing have given Tom Frank the POWER to grab interest, create fun and inspire a bit of silliness in even the most staunch audience.

Can you honestly say that after your last event, people not only “GOT IT” (the nut’s and bolts of your program, product launch, or department pep rally), but enjoyed it enough to give you positive feed back and to tell you that it’s that sort of programing that makes an audience feel empowered.

Care enough about your staff, your costumers or your prospects to think of and find new ways to say what needs to be said.

Bank on the results we gaurentee. If you’re not happy, you don’t pay!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ramble on rose

Things are rarely what they seem. The hand is quicker than the eye. Birds in July. Working on writing more like my poor, mentally deranged pal Elliott, who suffers in delusional glee, an abstract world of self importance.

I don't get it, but he probably doesn't get it either. Oh well. The trick is getting to a place in your mind and heart and say. . . hey, it is what it is.

Climbing the side of the canyon, snaking back, forth and up and up. Feeling inspired with every step. Even found myself praying. . . SHUT UP! No, really, didn't even understand it myself. It's just not like me to pray unless I really need something or I'm just in BIG trouble. OK so there I am asking god to give me courage to see things with clarity. I prayed to maintain a sense of balance high on that hill.

A Seattle day in LA, cool and overcast. I wonder how all my friends in Seattle are doing. If you are a friend. . . and you are in Seattle. . . leave a comment and say Hi. It would be nice to hear from you.

Feeling my creative self returning. Glad. Time to get busy. The universe is expanding. . . like I care?


This was a car I used to have in 1988. An old Checker Marathon. Huge back seat with extra fold out seats. Talk about making out in the back seat. . . I'm telling ya.

I guess I should quit farting around and get some work done. I've already dropped off Buster at school and been to the Burbank Airport near my house to continue and try to resolve the double charge issues. After yelling at the lady very loud and telling her I had a bomb strapped to my chest. The flash of electricity ran through my body instantly putting me on the ground flopping around like one of Tim Flynn's salmon. I woke up after shitting my pants in a dark room with a neon sign that said Welcome to hell. Elliott Blatt was bartending and I ordered a double Crown on the rocks. He spit in my face and laughed hysterically.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pic du Jour - From the archives

My Room 1979

This is what my room looked like in 1979 I think I was 13 or 14 years old. Nothing mattered more to me than Magic, learning, practicing, performing & creating. Trying now, in my own life to reclaim that feeling of wonder and enthusiasm that I try and convey to my audiences every day. If I don't believe in my own magic, no one else will either. That's a fact.

It was my own misguided adolescence that makes me want to do good by Buster. It would have been nice to have someone there to be a parent to a household of "Kids Gone Wild" Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll! NO RULES meant that a hurricane exploded and blew our family to the outskirts of the ethereal o-zone. Oh well, C'est la vie.

I love magic as much as I ever have and still after all these years, Believe in REAL MAGIC!

Hope, Max & Liam • X-Mas 2004

Max, Hope & Liam

Talked to Hope and Liam last night. Max still doesn't want to talk to me on the phone. Liam, Hope & I had a good laugh about Halloween which is coming up in a couple of weeks. It did my heart good to hear them laugh. They sounded happy, I'm glad.


Polly and I had a chat with Buster over the weekend about house rules, expectations and involvement in a cooperative family living environment. I don't feel like he's holding up his end of the deal. Fuck it, he probably feels like there is no deal, he made no agreements to any deals. That's true. But as I see it, Polly & I are his strongest advocates. We care so much for him and really do have his best interests at heart, even if he doesn't think so.

So I guess that's the trick, leading a horse to water, then sticking a fucking hose down his throat and making him drink.

I told Buster if he wanted me to give him a lift to school this morning, that we would leave at 7:40AM. I was waiting in the car till 7:45AM before he got in. I'm sick of this sort of shit again, and again. When we say something needs to be done, it doesn't mean in 5 or 10 minutes, it means, "get off your ass and do it now!"

In an hour I'll be picking him up at school. I thought it would be nice to take him hiking in Las Flores Canyon, then maybe watch the sunset in Malibu. Already setting myself up for disappointment, thinking he might actually enjoy doing anything with me. The real question is, do I ask him about his skipping gym class for the last two weeks while I've been out of town, on the way out to our hike, or later this evening or tomorrow AM. I'd like to just have a nice afternoon with him. . . if that's possible.

He shows little or no emotion. Rarely leaves his room. Isn't eating enough. And sits with his laptop instant messaging friends in Cincinnati and Seattle. He's ben at school almost 2 months and hasn't talked to another student.

He's 16 years old, it's time to start to grow up. Realize that in the real world you have to work for a living and things will not always be handed to you on a silver platter, like he's used to.

More Frustration

Thank you for submitting your refund request via e-mail. We are
experiencing an increase in customer e-mail as a result of our merger
and are working diligently to respond to all inquiries; however it could
take between 60 and 90 days to review your request. If this schedule
will not provide a timely response, please contact our Refund Department
directly at 480-693-6735. When calling, please have your 13-digit
ticket number available.

Thank you for choosing US Airways.

This is what frustration looks like 2hrs. +

Please wait for a site operator to respond.

You are now chatting with 'Reynold'

Reynold: Hi! Did you. . . 1) just submit a booking? 2) make a reservation some time ago? OR 3) want to make a new reservation ?

Me: Quixo Booking ID (last week) 301307

Reynold: Please hold while I retrieve your booking . . .

Reynold: How can I assist you regarding this booking?

Me: got to airport, said ticket was for a "Paper Ticket" which I did not have

Me: would not let me fly unless I bought another ticket

Reynold: Please hold on.. Let me check..

Me: was not happy

Me: had to buy another ticket

Me: would like my charge card refunded

Reynold: Checking on that..

Me: I can fax you the ticket I had to purchase at the counter

Me: I appreciate your help, thanks

Reynold: As per our record you have been issued Paper Ticket.

Reynold: Sorry..

Reynold: As per our record you have been issued E-ticketr Ticket.

Reynold: And there is no paper ticket issued for the itinerary

Me: that's not what the airline told me, they had no record of it

Me: I showed them the confirmation e-mail from you

Reynold: Please hold on..

Me: thanks

Me: still there?

Reynold: Please hold on. We are calling the airlines.

Me: thanks

Reynold: May I know what is the new ticket price which you have purchased at the airport

Reynold: ?

Reynold: Hello?

Reynold: Are you there?

Me: yes

Me: $249.20

Reynold: May I know what is the new ticket price which you have purchased at the airport


Me: would you like the ticket number

Reynold: May I also have the flight #'s of the itinerary which you have purchased at the airport?

Me: same as the one I got from you

Reynold: Flight #'s of the Outbound and the Inbound?

Reynold: okay

Reynold: is it for the same dates.

Me: yes

Me: seemed CRAZY at the counter

Reynold: Okay thank you

Reynold: I am giving all this information to the agent of the airlines to get the refund

Reynold: I am working on it

Me: great

Reynold: Sorry to keep you on hold

Me: thanks for all your help

Reynold: Please hold on

Me: no problem

Reynold: May I have the ticket # please ?

Reynold: which you have purchase with the airlines directly?

Me: Doc. # 4012184022413 from US Airways

Reynold: Please hold on..

Me: is this waht you are asking for?

Reynold: yes

Reynold: Please wait; the specialist in charge of this booking will assist you shortly...
Please wait while I transfer the chat to 'Philip'.

You are now chatting with 'Philip'

Philip: Hi there

Philip: I will be assisting you from now

Philip: So you have purchased the tickets directly from US Airways right?

Me: yes

Me: got to the airport

Me: thought the tickets I bought from you would get me on the plane

Me: they said I needed a paper ticket

Me: I showed them the email confirmation from you

Me: they said they had no record

Me: told me the only way I was flying was to buy a new ticket

Me: I was not happy

Me: I bought a new ticket

Me: I appreciate your help in getting me a refund (credit card cgargeback)

Me: I am working on it and aware of the situation.

Me: thanks

Philip: The airlines says that the ticket which was used was of the ticket which we have purchased the first time and the Merchant for that was Expedia.

Philip: The second time which you have purchase at the airlines directly from the USAirways was not used./

Me: It did have my name on it

Me: it was for the same flights

Me: why would I pay twice for the same tickets

Philip: yes same flights

Me: I did it because that's what the counter personel told me was the only way I was going to fly

Philip: But the ticket which you used for your travel was of the ticket which you purchased from us

Philip: please hold on

Philip: Let me complete that message which the agent of the airlines passed to me

Me: The ticket that I used was the one that the counter person issued me

Me: the e-ticket kiosk did not recognize me

Me: the service agent I dealt with tried to find out what was up, she made a couple of calls

Me: told me that ticket I bought from Qixo was for a paper ticket

Philip: The agent of the airlines said that the ticket which you have purchased the second time at the USAirways counter was not used and to get the refund for that ticket you need to call USAirways

Philip: And the # for the refund is 4806936735

Me: is this going to be a problem w/ them?

Philip: if you are not able to get through with that number then call the toll free # 18008357779/USAirways

Philip: It shouldn't any problem

Me: thanks for your help

Me: can I contact you if there is a problem

Philip: Because the agent informed me that the first ticket was used even thought you bought a second ticket.

Philip: If you any problem you can get back to us

Philip: But they informed us that the passenger has to call up as it was bought directly at the airport

Philip: Try calling this # first 4806936735/USAirways.

Philip: Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Me: I will call them now, can we stay on the line for a min. while I do that please

Philip: Okay

Philip: But inform them the situation and give the both the ticket #'s

Philip: and enquire which was used.

Me: getting a total run a round

Me: lots of hold time

Me: now an automated request for me to fax

Me: can you email something to me that I can fax to the to clear this matter up

Philip: We dont have the fax #

Philip: You need to get the fax #

Philip: It is best you speak to the agent and do accordingly

Philip: USAirways agent

Philip: Didn't you speak to them?

Me: no

Me: tried both numbers

Me: stayed on a hold A LONG time

Philip: Earlier when i called even i was on a long hold

Me: evedintly your or someone in your offive WAS on the phone with them. . . while I was hold with you

Me: 48 min. on hold?

Me: this is getting rediculous

Me: will you help me resolve this please

Philip: It is best you speak to an agent.

Me: and how should I do that?

Philip: I spoke to the agent but they wanted to speak directly to the passenger

Philip: as you have purchased this at the airport directly.

Me: so you can't help me, that's what your saying?

Philip: I have given you two phone # of USAirways

Me: I have tried both for almost an hour

Philip: Please hold on while i try

Me: thanks

Philip: May i have the confirmation # for the ticket which you have purchased at the airport?

Me: document #?

Me: 4012184022413

Philip: Airlines confirmation #

Philip: and not the ticket #?

Me: don't see one on the ticket I bought there

Me: I do have from from the Qixo confirmation email

Philip: The ticket # which you have given is for the confirmation # which we have issued as per the airlines.

Me: My ticket # from you IS different

Philip: The qixo confirmation # and the ticket # which you have given belongs to one and the same ticket

Philip: yes

Me: I see no confirmation # on the ticket I bought at the counter

Me: can I fax it to you?

Me: or them?

Philip: They gave you a different ticket # but the confirmation # which we have given is the one you have used

Me: So I have bought the same ticket twice. . . . back to square 1

Philip: It will do not good by sending a fax to us

Me: are you talking to them?

Me: can they call me?

Me: I would very much like to be done with this

Philip: What the agent says that you need to check your credit card statement and get the charges along with the reference # or ticket # which is shows

Me: hold on I can get that

Philip: When you purchase another ticket the airlines will issue a confirmation #

Me: I have a hard copy reciept with no Conf. #

Philip: Please check your credit card statement and the get the charges and the reference # on it and call the airlines and let them

Philip: The phone number for US Airways is 1-800-327-781

Philip: Please try calling the above #

Me: 781?

Me: missing a number

Philip: Nothing is missing

Philip: Please call the above #

Me: I am getting the feeling that I should just dispute my charges from both you and the airlines with my credit card company

Chat session has ended.

You are not currently in a chat session.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

In my "In Box" • An email from a guy on Flickr

:: Thank you for what you did for me. Even if you didn't
know it.

I am new the art of magic, currently I am spending what
seems to be every waking hour consumed by thought of what
will one day be possible. For now I settle for what I must
study and learn, those fundamentals tought in Tarbell. I
have joined the S.A.M. and the local magic society, and
have found it very helpful. The reason I am saying all of
this is unclear to me even as I continue to type, but I was
looking over your photos and I felt motivated, So I guess I
should say thanks, this also goes for the other person on
your contact list. I found their work equally as moving. I
am an artist by nature and I have been searching for that
one thing that will release the torment that has been
bubbling below the surface of my skin for the past several
years. My drawing, painting, photography has only served as
a temperary repreive. It wasn't until one day that, for
reasons beyond my knowledge, I picked up a book from the
library and started learning about magic. This is the first
time in my life that I have felt a total clarity of mind. I
feel free of everything the world has put in my way, and I
am able to consentrait on nothing else. I am able to
"escape" from the troubles of the world.
I realize now after saying all that I have just said that,
this may very well be the reason I sent the message to you.
I have never said any of this to anyone and I needed a way
to let it out of my system without looking like a madman.
However, I still stand by what I said before, your photos
gave me motivation, in more ways than one. and for that I
thank you.

Luke Rawlings

Pic du Jour • Company Picnic @ Coney Island

From a lifetime ago before any exwives, kids or serious thoughts. Photo taken in the late 80's as I was experimenting with a clown character.

Hot Dogs

In the lower pic, I am doing the Coin roll out to the 5 Silver Dollar star atop fingertops while on the rollo bollo board (to chaplin music)

Tom Clown Magic


Got home Monday night. Polly and Buster were waiting for me at the Burbank Airport. Glad to be back and get back to the business of my life, my dreams and my inspirations. Lots of things going on in my mind, lots of things to do, create and live.

So there you have it. On my way to the Promenade, sound system finally died yesterday. Picked up a new Crate Taxi at a music store at 7th and Santa Monica expecting it to do a great job.